Huge congratulations to Coalition for Carolina advisor Paul Fulton!
Paul, former dean of the Kenan Flagler business school and NC business executive, is a tireless advocate for North Carolina public education. He was recently honored by theNorth Carolina Society of New York at its annual Dinner Dance.
Since 1947, the Society has recognized 79 honorees, including John Motley Morehead III, John M. Belk, Dean E. Smith, Richard Hampton Jenrette, Julian and Josie Robertson, Gov. James Baxter Hunt, Jr., Dr. James and Ann Goodnight, and Thomas W. Ross.
Below is a video of Paul’s remarks. This video was submitted by an attendee at the event. If it is difficult to hear what Paul is saying, please follow this link to read Paul’s full remarks.
Funding Higher Education
The funding of public higher education is facing challenges around the country. In a recent post, we celebrated Carolina’s milestone achievement in raising private funds to support the university and noted that such “once in a generation” funding is no substitute for state funding. This thinking is underscored in a Chronicle for Higher Education opinion piece written by James Nguyen H. Spencer. He considers the importance of funding and investing in our youth and discusses the importance of public higher education as a public good. Spencer goes on to
point out how public higher education is facing funding challenges across the country and proposes a novel solution that would enable us to invest in our young people’s education, address current funding challenges, and realize a favorable return on the investment.
From the article:
“In years past, public-college tuition was kept very low by state investment in public universities. But today, levels of investment have in many cases dropped from about half of a university’s budget to less than 10 percent. In some states, these aggregate reductions have been mitigated by the creation of state programs funding individual tuition support for residents, as in South Carolina and Louisiana, yet it’s still clear that states will no longer be the primary source of public-university support.
Financing an equitable higher education can be done: The U.S. has near-universal water supplies, transportation, and electricity for even its poorest residents. What would happen if we applied the same principles to the public goods that universities provide?
This could be done with the financial support of state-supported bond programs — or less preferably through the private capital markets (after all, student debt is a $1.5-trillion market), like most conventional forms of infrastructure. Upon graduation, a graduate would be asked to pay a small percentage of income back to the university for the duration of the graduate’s career — let’s say 3 percent to 5 percent. The graduates who become millionaires will financially outweigh those who drop out of the labor market. This mechanism should ensure that the monthly costs aren’t too burdensome.
The economic fundamentals of “investing” in our young people in this way are solid.”
Support for The Governance Commission
The Winston-Salem Journal has published an opinion piece in support of Governor Cooper’s commission on university governance. They view the new commission as “a necessary first step to protect taxpayers’ investment in our university system and to right a ship that has listed starboard. We’ll watch for their recommendations with interest — and with hope that the legislature will be persuaded to take their recommendations seriously.”
In supporting the commission, the Journal highlights some of the problems that have arisen as a result of one political party having “a lock on the UNC System”. They cite incidences where lawmakers used their power “at times to turn students into political pawns, as in the era of the HB2 ‘bathroom bill,’ when they tried to impose harmful limitations on where some UNC students could relieve themselves. Questions have also arisen over Republican-appointed board members who have improperly tried to influence university hiring and contract decisions, as well as, in one case, a student election. A couple of board members sought university chancellorships for themselves.”
The piece includes quotes from Governor Cooper and co-chair Margaret Spellings.